The injury issues giving Sarina Wiegman a headache ahead of the World Cup
Fran Kirby has become the latest England player set to miss this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The midfielder confirmed that she will be sidelined for “a significant period” due to a knee injury and will undergo surgery.
The news is a big blow for England boss Sarina Wiegman, who will be looking to build on their European Championship success this summer.
Here the PA news agency takes a look at some of the big names who are set to miss out for England.
Fran Kirby – Chelsea
Kirby is the latest casualty for England following a knee injury picked up in Chelsea’s Continental League Cup semi-final against West Ham in February.
The midfielder started every game of last summer’s European Championship campaign – providing three assists and scoring two goals as the Lionesses won on home soil – and has scored seven times for Chelsea in 13 appearances across all competitions this season.
Leah Williamson – Arsenal
Kirby’s injury announcement comes just weeks after England captain Leah Williamson was herself ruled out of the World Cup.
The 26-year-old ruptured her anterior cruciate knee ligament during Arsenal’s Women’s Super League defeat to Manchester United last month after appearing to catch her studs in the turf.
A pillar at centre-half, Williamson has been an integral part of the England set-up, where she skippered the side to their first major trophy at Euro 2022 and has since led them to victories in the Arnold Clark Cup and last month’s Finalissima.
Beth Mead – Arsenal
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Williamson joined a long injury list at Arsenal which includes fellow Lionesses favourite Beth Mead, who has been out with the same injury since November.
Mead caused havoc for opposition teams at last summer’s Euros, working as a goalscoring threat but also able to provide assists where needed.
Her performances saw her named player of the tournament and she was awarded the Golden Boot, but a particular highlight came in England’s 8-0 thrashing of Norway, where she scored a hat-trick in a stunning team display.